first_img Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  First Heatwave Expected Next Week Make a comment Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday More Cool Stuff Skip Hickambottom (l) and Dale Gronemeier (r)The Pasadena Police officers’ tactics in the shooting of the 20 year old Latino may well have been best practices, but we won’t ever know for sure if the PD gets away with looking only narrowly at the moment of shooting as it did in the McDade case. The Pasadena PD’s outsourcing its criminal investigation to the LA County Sheriff’s Department appears designed to help facilitate the public not learning whether the officers’ tactics were in fact best practices.We voted for Sheriff Jim McDonnell and believe he is doing a commendable job in trying to bring long overdue change to the Sheriff’s Department. But the Pasadena Police Department has made a monumental mistake in farming out to the LASD the criminal investigation of the PD’s officer-involved shootings. The Sheriff’s Department is now conducting the criminal investigation of the 20 year old Latino who was shot in the back by a PD Officer last Friday, but it should be the LASD’s last such investigation.The PD keeps the deficient process in-house while outsourcing its proficient processIn March 2014, Pasadena PD Chief Phillip Sanchez announced that the criminal investigations for future use of force incidents would no longer be conducted by the Pasadena PD but rather would be farmed out to the Sheriff’s Department while the administrative reviews stayed within the Pasadena PD.Against critics who objected to the outsourcing decision, who objected to the failure to consult on it with the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, and who objected to the failure to take community input on this important policy change, former City Manager Beck defended the decision as an “operational decision” rather than a policy issue that was the the City administration prerogative; the City administration argued that the Sheriff’s Department would be providing the “independent investigation” that police reform critics were demanding.What Beck and Sanchez did not disclose was that when they announced their outsourcing decision, they had seen drafts of the independent Office of Independent Review (OIR) Group Report on the PD’s killing of the unarmed African-American youth Kendrec McDade. The OIR Group Report commended the professionalism of the Pasadena PD’s criminal investigation. But that same Report took apart piece by piece the Pasadena PD’s grossly inadequate administrative review.So Beck and Sanchez knowingly chose to outsource the criminal investigation process that was working well and to keep in-house the administrative review process that was working badly.The public and their elected representatives did not know the Police Chief and City Manager were engaged in upside-down decisionmaking because the OIR Group Report that praised the criminal investigation and eviscerated the administrative review was not released to the public until nearly two years later.Why in the world would the City Manager and Police Chief make such a backwards choice? Before trying to answer that question, we need to add some information that the outsourcing decision was an even worse choice than just keeping the bad and getting rid of the good.Outsourcing to a troubled agencyThe outsourcing decision didn’t just outsource the good while keeping the bad. It outsourced the good to a very troubled Sheriff’s Department.Police officers investigating other police officers always raise questions as to whether they can rise above their occupational biases, but that issue is especially acute with a Department with the record of the LASD.Whatever the trust problems of the PD with Pasadena’s Black and Brown population, they are dwarfed by well-deserved deeper distrust of the Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Department has long been correctly viewed with much greater distrust than the Pasadena PD by many minority residents of Pasadena and Altadena.The immediate past Sheriff and his highest-ranking deputy are going to jail for their obstruction of justice in trying to thwart an FBI investigation into deputies’ unjustified violence. Sarah Favot’s article last Sunday in the Star-News reported that the Sheriff’s Department is riven down the middle between those officers who are loyal to the old guard (who are going to jail) and those more progressive deputies who recognize that Sheriff McDonnell is trying to take the Department in the right direction.In 2012, the County’s Citizen’s Commission on Jail Violence found that the Sheriff’s Department use of force investigations were seriously flawed and protected deputies who used excessive force.The LA County Board of Supervisors has just created an Inspector General position for independent oversight of the Sheriff’s Department, but the Sheriff’s Department is fighting giving it subpoena power. There is thus little to commend the Sheriff’s Department as likely to provide a set of independent eyes for the criminal investigation as compared to the eyes of the Pasadena PD.The Pasadena PD’s terrible outsourcing decision is a PR ploy to ward off truly independent review.The PD’s foolish criminal-investigation outsourcing decision comes from its liking its own independence but disliking independent reviewer scrutiny.The “independence” of the Sheriff’s Department doing the criminal investigation doesn’t threaten the PD with criticism because of the investigation’s narrow focus and because fellow officers can be counted on to be supportive. Yet the PD’s PR will disingenuously claim that the “independent” LASD criminal investigation satisfies all need for independent review.The PD has regularly demonstrated its hostility to independent review.While welcoming the cover of a Sheriff’s investigation, the PD does not welcome a truly independent professional looking at its shootings. While welcoming examination of the narrow criminal culpability issues, the PD does not welcome independent scrutiny of the officers’ pre-shooting and post-shooting conduct nor independent evaluation of the entire criminal and administrative investigation process.The PD enmity to independent review was evident with the McDade shooting by the PD refusing to let the OIR Group into the room for the PD’s administrative review meeting even though that is what they were contracted to do. Police Chief Phillip Sanchez gave lip service on December 7, 2015, to adopting OIR Group Recommendation #6 that the independent reviewer be in the room for the administrative review meeting, but a short time after that he attacked the OIR Group to KPCC Reporter Frank Stoltz.Now, as detailed in our prior Op-Ed titled “The Pasadena PD’s Latest Ploy to Subvert Independent Review,” the PD is now rushing to complete its administrative review of Friday’s shooting before any independent review can be put in place. Its administrative review is being done under its out-of-date policy #302 that does not require any review of the pre-shooting and post-shooting tactics in an officer-involved shooting.The only justification we can see for the terrible outsourcing decision is to enable the PD to mislead the public into believing that having the Sheriff’s Department do the criminal investigation provides all the “independence” that is needed in an officer-involved shooting. The Sheriff’s Department is being cynically used to avoid the broad inquiry into tactics that was so devastating for the PD in the McDade case. The function of having the Sheriff’s Department replace the PD on the criminal investigation seems to be to provide a false aura of independence where it isn’t needed so that independent review cannot occur where it really is needed.So the outsourcing to the Sheriff’s Department should end when it completes its present criminal investigation of Friday’s shooting.Skip Hickambottom and Dale Gronemeier are local civil rights attorneys who successfully litigated for public release of the OIR Group Report on the McDade shooting. EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Business News Top of the News Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m.center_img Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Opinion & Columnists Guest Opinion | Send the Sheriffs Back Home Opinion piece by SKIP HICKAMBOTTOM and DALE L. GRONEMEIER Published on Thursday, April 14, 2016 | 1:37 pm Community News 3 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Community News Subscribe faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyCitizen Service CenterPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes HerbeautyCostume That Makes Actresses Beneath Practically UnrecognizableHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Most Influential Women In HistoryHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Questions To Start Conversation Way Better Than ‘How U Doing?’HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Strong Female TV Characters Who Deserve To Have A SpinoffHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Of The Most Notorious Female Spies In HistoryHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyShort On Time? 10-Minute Workouts Are Just What You NeedHerbeautyHerbeauty Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadenalast_img